Make it Rain

BY : Ghost-of-a-Chance
Category: +S through Z > Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Dragon prints: 33
Disclaimer: I don't own Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in any way shape or form, or the song "Make it Rain." I'm making no money from this work of fiction.

In A New Lease on Life, chapter 25 ("Loyalty Wears Many Faces") Amber describes to Donatello a time when her hometown underwent a massive drought. Despite her phobia of rain, Amber knew the town needed rain to get out of the drought, and without it, the town would be lost. You needn't read that story to understand this chapter but it would help provide background.

"Make it Rain" is not for everyone - it's short and OC-centric with no canon characters, and heavy on the purple prose. It has heavy religious themes, but no preaching or word-spreading. It features a morbidly obese and physically disabled character, and the situation described in it is very emotional. That aside, I feel unusually proud of it because of the emotion portrayed in it. I hope y'all enjoy and would love to hear your thoughts about it.

Suggested Listening: Ed Sheeran "Make It Rain" (From Sons of Anarchy)

Gallery of Memories: Make it Rain

July 2005, Willsdale, Missouri, a small cluttered house at the edge of town

In every life, there come times when we must move beyond our fears and faults in the pursuit of the greater good. This, Amber realized a week before, was clearly such a time for her.

Not so long before, Amber's front yard was covered in thick green crabgrass and greener clover, and frequented by birds and beasts alike. Now everything is dry and brown; parched brown foliage crunches underfoot. "Lord," Amber mutters as she stares out her dusty kitchen window, "I know yer probably busy right now, but we need you…this whole nation needs you…"

The Midwestern United States isn't known for its predictable weather. One year might bring torrential rain, the next a killer drought, and the next absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. In Tornado Alley this mercurial weather is even more pronounced, and it isn't unheard of for certain states to experience 'all four seasons in a week.' Missouri is one of those states. Like the majority of the country, the Show-Me state is being hammered with a long, harsh drought and fire season that some inhabitants have likened to another Dust Bowl in the making.

How long has it been since the sky last darkened outside of nighttime? How long since the earth's thirst was quenched? Amber shakes her head and turns away from the long-vacant kitchen garden. Nothing would survive that soil now, even if she wasn't the type with two black thumbs. Cane in hand, she half-limps and half-lumbers to the dark parlor, easing her sore body onto the sagging plaid sofa. The news brings only sorrow and the radio stations are even worse, but the record player and hi-fi are full of fond memories. As a jazzy number by Sinatra fills the small dark room with false cheer Amber collects the phone from the table, intent on checking her messages.

The sins of my father
Weigh down in my soul
And the pain of my mother
Will not let me go.

"Amber Jean!" an older woman snaps from across town, seemingly ready to crawl through the phone's earpiece and box Amber's ears. "Ye still havenae shown up fer the services! Where did we go wrong with ye? How did Ah raise such an ungrateful, ungodly—!" Without a moment's hesitation, Amber erases the message and moves on to the next one.

"Simple," she grumbles aloud though her mother cannot hear, "ya taught me to think fer myself, then punished me fer havin' a brain. What were you thinking?" Another message sounds out—her Gran'da dryly warning her to stay low for a while as her mother was on the rampage again. His familiar husky burr and foreign colloquialisms always bring a smile to his granddaughter's face, even with the state of the world. Dead, dry, and burning...Willsdale is her world but the drought extends far beyond its borders.

A loud rumbling crash echoes from outside – so similar to thunder it makes her skin crawl – but the moment she reaches the window, she finds instead that another one of the Black Locust trees has given up the ghost. Every year prior, the belt of trees had spread further and further, and every blooming season Amber's breath was taken away by the masses of pale, delicate blossoms dangling from every branch. Without rain, though, the grove is drying up, dying, and tumbling down one by one. Only thorny trunks remain of the largest trees now, and Amber longs for their shade.

Well, I know there can come fire from the sky
To refine the purest of kings,
And even though
I know this fire brings me pain -

Even so
And just the same,
Make it rain!

Make it rain, Lord! Amber prays, silently choking up at the ever-worsening state of her world. She hates rain – she fears rain – she would once have been happiest if she never had to suffer another rainstorm again so long as she lived! Despite her runaway phobia, however, she's learned her lesson: no matter how much she hates rain, the world around her needs it.

All seed needs the water
Before it grows out of the ground,
But it just keeps on getting harder
And the hunger more profound.

When the drought first began, Amber, like so many others, felt sure the rain would return soon and suspected the media of overplaying the danger. The longer they went without even the slightest bit of precipitation though, the more real that danger became. Like so many other small towns in the Midwest, Willsdale is a community reliant on agriculture; some residents grow grain, soybeans, and produce, some raise cattle, poultry, or wool-bearing livestock, and some simply take advantage of the open space to raise food for their own families. Over the last few months, those who rely on the land have been slowly forced away from their dried up property. Willsdale is slowly dying like the land around it; if the drought continues much longer, the small town Amber loves may soon fade away entirely.

Crops have withered. The most well-cared for kitchen gardens have been reduced to dirt and dried remains. Herds of livestock have grown skinny and sick and died of dehydration and malnutrition. Worst of all, in the last couple of months Amber's neighbors have been growing sicker, weaker, and more disheartened, and every day brings another report of another life claimed by the heat and drought. There is no rain in the Missouri Ozarks...the morning fog has ceased to spread and the knobs and hollers are drying up...everywhere, the acrid stench of smoke and dried-up ponds fills the air.

Well, I know there can come tears from the eyes
But they may as well all be in vain.
Even though
I know these tears come with pain -

Even so
And just the same,
Make it rain!

When dusk falls over the small town of Willsdale, Amber creeps out into the sweltering heat. The empty log-fenced pasture behind her property was once ripe with life - Hedgeapple trees and zealous native bracken provided shelter for wildlife and the wide crick running through the middle provided relief on hot summer's days. All in all, it was heaven on earth to Amber and her closest companions, Mercy Ross and Aaron Willis. The inseparable trio have made that empty lot their own, if not on paper then in heart, and spend as much time there as possible...or, they did until the land began to die. Aaron's farming employers have laid him off - he's found work in a Glenville warehouse. Mercy's ranch is failing one cow at a time, and with the sick and dying heifers, Mercy's stepfather can't spare her for even a day.

The pasture, like the rest of the land around it, has dried up. Though the sight of the once vibrant landscape chokes her up, Amber's unsteady feet lead her there without hesitation. Just as she has every day and every night for the past seven days, she stares forlornly across the scorched turf. She imagines it swarming with tall, tasseled grass, buried under blankets of fallen leaves, dusted with fresh snow and dripping with icy gems, and bursting into bloom anew every spring. As every day and night for the past week, she sinks clumsily to her scarred, aching knees in the dust, closes her eyes, and sends up yet another plea for mercy.

Let the clouds fill with thunderous applause,
And let lightning be the veins,
And fill the sky
With all that they can drop
When it's time
To make a change.

Make it rain!

"Please, Lord," Amber whimpers aloud, her eyes stinging from the failed attempt to produce tears. Her tears dried up with all the other water around, after all, and no matter how she hurts, she cannot produce more. "Please, we need youwe need your help! Please, make it rain—make it rain, Lord, make it rain!" Words fall from her lips in an increasingly desperate and helpless torrent. She fears the rain – she hates the rain – but for as much as she fears it and hates it, she needs the rain as much as everyone else does! Rain could save her hometown as easily as it could send her cowering; with enough of it, the drought could be broken and the country could get on with their lives again.

'No more death,' Amber pleads silently when she can no longer get words out between choked sobs. 'No more fear, no more dread. No more waiting for our prayers to be answered. Please, make it rain, make it rain, make it rain!' The words have become a bizarre mantra for her in this time of drought, an endless plea that has never been answered. Then, in the space between one breath and another, something completely unexpected takes her breath away.

Cold liquid slithers down the back of Amber's bare neck. The frantic brunette falls silent, her grey-green eyes wide with fear, hope, and wonder. The sensation returns on her right shoulder, then once more on the back of her left arm. Fingers clenching the scorched turf desperately, Amber fights the urge to look at the strange coolness on her forearm, afraid her hopes would be dashed to pieces by sweat or bird droppings. Finally, her mind is made up by a low, distant rumble…

Rain…RAIN! Fat raindrops send up clouds of dusty earth all around her. Silver trails streak down her bare skin toward the parched earth below her. What started as a few measly drops swells with every passing second, until it becomes a steady downpour. Anyone who witnessed the sight might question the sanity of the obese woman sprawled on her hands and knees in the dirt, veering between laughing and crying as she stared in unadulterated glee at the water quickly turning dust into mud. Amber rolls over onto her back in the dirt, staring up at the gathering clouds through water-specked glasses, giving thanks for every drop and rumble. Even as they send her skin prickling in dread and make her want nothing more than to cower in the dirt, she gives thanks for what she feels certain to be an answer to the prayers of a multitude of people. Hundreds, thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of people in the drought-stricken areas have been begging their chosen deities for relief, and finally, relief has come.

Amber hates the rain – she fears the rain – but right now, she wants nothing more than to strip off her muddy clothes and dance in the downpour.

New York City, early Spring 2016, the Lair, Donatello's Lab

A lifetime after she prayed for rain, a broken woman stares through the unfinished ceiling overhead. Spring rain pounds the pavement above, each drop echoing like gunfire. Nothing can completely block out the sound and on stormy nights like this one, Amber cannot sleep from the fear wracking her heart. Another life, another world, another chance to find a love worth living for…but she still fears the lightest rainstorm.

What happened to the woman who prayed for rain? What happened to the strong woman who put the safety of her hometown before her own comfort? Who faced her fear for the sake of others? Amber has no answer, and that absence infuriates her. Thunder cracks overhead and her mind is made up. She died in Willsdale, died in the library of Willsdale High School, but even in the body of another she's still the same person she always was, and with the same faults she always had. If not for her own sake, then for the sake of her new family and her loved ones, by the breath in her very lungs she will find a way to conquer those faults! Defiant green eyes stare up at the ceiling, picturing a putrid green sky split with a maniacal grin. Somewhere beyond the shattered memory superimposed on her eyes, there waits someone far more powerful than she could ever hope to be; to Him, she lifts a hand in supplication.

'Thy will be done, she reflects silently, entreating her chosen deity for strength and guidance. Help me become stronger me conquer my fears and faults, and until I can dance in the downpour, please…' She falters, the words failing in her heart, then slipping past her teeth in a whisper.

"Make it rain."


*Lyrics are from the song noted as suggested listening, and are not presented in complete form.


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